Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kantabanji/Bolangir, Feb 26:
Former Odisha legislator and senior Congress leader Santosh Singh Saluja, his cousin Amarjit Singh and one of his supporters were brutally attacked by some individuals here in Kantabanji this morning allegedly over property dispute.
A severely bleeding Saluja was first rushed to the Kantabanji hospital from where he was shifted to the district headquarters hospital in Bolangir.
Doctors at the Bolangir hospital said the former Kantabanji MLA is now out of danger.
“His condition is stable, but one of his arteries has been cut,” said Bolangir CDMO Dr RN Tripathy.
As per information just received, Saluja is being shifted to the SCB Medical College hospital in Cuttack for further treatment.
Meanwhile, his cousin Amarjit Singh, who was also injured in the attack, has been shifted to a hospital in Raipur.
Before leaving Bolangir, Saluja briefly talked to the media persons who crowded the hospital and attributed a political motive for the murderous attack on him.
“I have no doubt whatsoever that the attack has been planned by the BJD MLA from Kantabanji, who has conveniently gone abroad after setting up the whole thing,” the former Congress chief whip said.
Asked how he can be so sure, Saluja said; “I am 100% sure because he has warned me about such an attack in the presence of the police. He has said nothing would would happen to him since his party is in power in the state.”
“I have lodged two complaints in the Kantabanji police station about the threat. But no action has been taken by the police,” Saluja alleged.
Bargarh SP US Dash, who is in charge of Bolangir, has reached Bolangir town and is supervising the investigation.
“We have detained five persons in connection with the attack and are interrogating them,” Dash said.
Saluja, along with his associates, had gone to Chatuanka village near Kantabanji where the ‘disputed’ property is located when he and the others accompanying him were attacked with sharp weapons by four persons who were hiding behind a tree, sources said.
Though Saluja had bought the patch of land, another person had been claiming rights over the records of the property, sources said.